Hong Kong police refute 'groundless accusations' made to UN

In this photo taken on Sept 8, 2019, riot police escort a man inside the Central MTR station in Hong Kong.
In this photo taken on Sept 8, 2019, riot police escort a man inside the Central MTR station in Hong Kong.PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG • The Hong Kong police yesterday refuted accusations made by a Hong Kong Legislative Council member about the police's law enforcement operations since June.

Expressing deep regret about the accusations made by Ms Tanya Chan at the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday, the police said that in the face of increasingly tense anti-government protests with an escalation of violence since June, they have always exercised a high level of restraint and endeavoured to restore public order and protect the safety of the general public.

In Hong Kong, there are stringent police guidelines for the use of force, and they use the minimum force necessary for achieving a lawful purpose.

"We must emphasise that we always respect detainees' rights and will arrange for detainees to communicate with relatives and lawyers as soon as possible, given that there is no unreasonable delay or hindrance to the investigation or administration of justice," the police said.

"Also, the police will not obstruct any person from receiving medical treatment during investigation in a hospital or any operation."

On Ms Chan's accusation about police harassing and humiliating detainees, the police said they have clarified repeatedly that they have not received any formal complaints.

"We take such groundless accusations very seriously and doubt the source of information," the police said, adding that they appeal to anyone who has concrete evidence to make a report so that they can investigate.

Ms Chan also accused police officers of shooting bean bag rounds at a woman, injuring her eye. The police said that as the case is still under investigation, "no one should make any reckless conclusion".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2019, with the headline 'HK police refute 'groundless accusations' made to UN'. Print Edition | Subscribe